A pair of mid-majors head across the ocean to play in Ireland, when the Central Arkansas Bears and Niagara Purple Eagles meet in the 2022 Dublin Basketball Challenge on Friday. The Bears (2-1), who have a two-game winning streak, are coming off an 82-71 win over Arkansas Little Rock. The Purple Eagles (0-2), meanwhile, stumbled at Maryland 71-49 on Nov. 7, before dropping a 68-50 decision at Bucknell on Saturday. This will be the first time the teams have met.
The game from the National Basketball Arena at Tallaght Sports Complex tips off at 11 a.m. ET. The Purple Eagles are 2-point favorites in the latest Central Arkansas vs. Niagara odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is set at 137.5. Before making any Niagara vs. Central Arkansas picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past six years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of more than $1,200 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread.
Now, the model has set its sights on Central Arkansas vs. Niagara and just locked in its picks and CBB predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the college basketball odds and betting lines for Niagara vs. Central Arkansas:
- Central Arkansas vs. Niagara spread: Niagara -2
- Central Arkansas vs. Niagara money line: Niagara -140, Central Arkansas +120
- Central Arkansas vs. Niagara over/under: 137.5 points
- Central Arkansas: The Under is 3-0-1 in the Bears' last four games following an against-the-spread win
- Niagara: The Purple Eagles are 9-4-1 ATS in their last 14 games vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600
- Central Arkansas vs. Niagara picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why Central Arkansas can cover
Junior guard Collin Cooper has been red hot so far this season, averaging 11.3 points per game on 41.4% shooting from the field, including 40% from 3-point range. He scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds in Monday's win over Arkansas Little Rock. Cooper played in 29 games with 29 starts a year ago for the Bears, averaging 9.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 0.9 steals per game. He connected on 36.6% of his shots from 3-point range, making a team-high 67 threes.
Junior guard Masai Olowokere has also been a force so far this year, averaging 10.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. Olowokere has had at least seven rebounds in all three games, including nine in the opener at Wichita State. Last season, he played in 22 games with two starts coming after returning from injury. He averaged five points, 2.9 rebounds and one assist per game.
Why Niagara can cover
Junior guard Braxton Bayless leads the offense. He is averaging 10.5 points, five rebounds, 3.5 assists and one steal per game, and is connecting on 58.8% of his shots from the floor. He opened the season with a 14-point, six-rebound and six-assist performance at Maryland on Nov. 7. Bayless helped lead Indian Hills Community College to a 27-6 record in 2021-22 and to a 53-11 mark in his two years there. He averaged nine points, 4.1 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game last year, playing in 32 games and starting in 23.
Also helping lead Niagara is sophomore forward Aaron Gray, who is averaging 9.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and one assist per game. He scored 10 points in the loss at Bucknell. Last year, Gray played in 21 games, including 20 starts, at Southern New Hampshire. He averaged 15.6 points and 6.3 rebounds.
How to make Niagara vs. Central Arkansas picks
SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the total, projecting 138 combined points. The model also says one side of the spread hits 60% of the time. You can see the picks here.
So who wins Central Arkansas vs. Niagara? And which side of the spread hits 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.